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Continuing through the Decluttering Your Life series, today we’ll discuss decluttering your physical and digital spaces to organize and rejuvenate your life.
Today, most of our digital work is done on a laptop or desktop computer. Keeping a clear workspace, both on your computer and on your physical desk, can help you work more efficiently, stay creative, and be more productive.
Arrange your files and documents effectively so you don’t have to waste time tracking things down. By creating a workspace that’s easy to navigate, you’ll reduce your stress and increase your output without having to put forth extra effort. It’s all about setting yourself up to succeed.
Take Stock of Your Space
There’s no longer a strict division between physical and digital spaces; in today’s world, they tend to overlap and be one and the same. When organizing your life, take both digital and physical components into account.
Evaluate your work and home office requirements. Make a list of the things you need to help you stay focused. Include physical and digital items – having plenty of pens and sticky notes on hand is just as important as keeping your laptop charger close by.
Be sure to factor in things you don’t necessarily need to perform your job, but that you need to stay in a good mindset. This can include ample lighting, plants, photos of your loved ones, or artwork. Most people have trouble doing their best work (and staying organized) in a Spartan setup.
Create a Decluttering Routine
Like loading and running the dishwasher every night to start each morning fresh, establish a routine of decluttering based on your work style. Take stock of your workspace regularly. Are there supplies you haven’t used in a long time? Sort, donate, or repurpose them to free up space and mental energy.
Sometimes, giving your space a quick rearrange makes you more efficient and gives the workspace a pick-me-up. Work patterns change organically over time, so you want to reevaluate your workspace from time to time to make sure it still serves your needs.
All these tasks take time, so you don’t have to do it every day. But make sure it happens regularly. Put it on your calendar if you need to.
Embrace Digital Options
The overwhelming majority of clutter in workspaces is paper and old documents. Luckily, the advent of widespread paperless options can significantly reduce this burden.
Print to PDF
Instead of printing important receipts and documents for safekeeping, print them to PDF instead. Then save those documents in a central location on your computer. This reduces the amount of physical waste you’ll create, makes it easier to keep track of your documents (there’s no “search” option in real life!), and reduces the amount of physical clutter to organize.
Embrace Online Info
Today, websites store a lot of the information we used to need to keep paper copies of. Embrace that. Cancel catalog subscriptions since that information’s now online.
Use a Password Manager
Lots of people write their passwords down in their planners or a notebook. Instead, try a password manager such as Dashlane, Keeper, or Lastpass. They’re more convenient and are harder to lose.
Most people tend to think of digital decluttering as simply organizing their computer files. But when you think of your digital spaces as a part of your physical world, it becomes a lot easier to set up systems to keep yourself organized and composed long-term.